Learn about a local lady who's channeling her passion for fashion through handcrafted pieces of wearable art, now available online and a pop-up shop soon coming to OTR.
Although Dawn Grady’s passion for jewelry just sparked within the last decade, she’s been fanning the flames to create an empire out of her talents ever since. Today, she is the owner of Junebug Jewelry Designs, a jewelry business that she describes as Bohemian, eclectic, modern, funky, and earthy.
“You could use any of these words to describe the bold, eye-catching statement jewelry from Junebug Designs,” says Grady. “Made especially for fashionably fearless women, each intricate design is a timeless work of wearable art made with natural materials and lots of love.”
Grady says that at Junebug, she likes to keep things original, creating only one-of-a-kind and limited-edition pieces. “This ensures that customers never see their unique accessories on anyone else,” she adds.
The story behind Junebug starts with a bead stringing class at the University of Cincinnati. It’s where Grady made her first necklace and earring set. From then on, making jewelry became an obsession for Grady.
“I started gathering tools and supplies, and absorbed ever jewelry-making tutorial I could,” she recalls. “I took classes from renowned metalsmiths and jewelry artisans to master the skills needed to produce my vision of wearable art.”
Grady says the name for her business comes from her father, as he gave her the nickname “Junebug” when she was younger.
“I loved to be creative as a young person, and that’s when I heard the name the most,” she says. “So, when I created my business, I couldn’t think of a better name.”
She says the name “Junebug” represents a time in her life when she feels she was very creative, and is a level of creativity she taps into when designing her jewelry.
Junebug officially launched in 2012, when Grady began primarily selling her jewelry online, at craft shows, and through her own pop-up shops.
Grady says buyers love that they’re getting a hand-crafted piece like no other. “Junebug Jewelry Designs is unique because each piece is a work of wearable art that is timeless and often a conversation starter,” says Grady. “The fact that my designs are one-of-a-kind makes them extra special. When you buy Junebug pieces, you’re not just buying accessory, but a handcrafted work of art that will be unique to you.”
Each piece from Junebug is made by Grady’s own hands, and meets her high-quality design standards.
Junebug designs are mostly copper and Argentium silver statement jewelry. Grady says that she loves working with copper because of the unique way that it antiques, while Argentium silver is highly tarnish-resistant and stays brilliant without much effort. Grady says one of her favorite designs are the copper cuff bracelets.
There are a number of finishes available through her Fiyah Collection of bracelets, statement necklaces, and earrings that have been finished with a fire or mustard patina. “And, yes, I mean mustard like the kind you would put on a hot dog,” Grady laughs. “The acid in the mustard reacts on the metal and delivers a beautiful finish.”
Grady says that one of her favorite parts about Junebug is challenge herself to create unique finishes on her jewelry. Whether it’s using a torch to create a fiery look or mustard to deliver shades of bronze and turquoise.
Grady also enjoys using natural stones in her pieces, to incorporate their beauty and energies into the designs. “I created the Innerjee Collection of beaded gemstone designs that combine the stones to deliver specific energies,” says Grady.
The first three designs are titled “Prosperity,” “No More Drama,” and “Time for Change.” “The stones in Prosperity help attract good fortune, while those in No More Drama help absorb and block negative energy,” she says. “The stones in Time for Change help you identify the right path in life and embrace change as it comes your way.”
The Argentium designs allow the brilliance of the metal to take center stage. “It is such a gorgeous metal,” says Grady. “I work primarily with Argentium wire and use it to hand-forge chains, create unique earring designs (particularly hoops) and statement necklaces, and design cocktail rings.”
You’ll soon have a chance to see Grady’s designs in person. She will open her pop-up boutique, Fiyah & Glow, on February 10-12, 2017. The boutique is located at 1329 Vine Street in Over-the-Rhine, but Grady says you can also shop the designs any time online at www.junebugjewelrydesigns.com.
Grady says that she is excited about the upcoming pop-up boutiques, which will be open monthly throughout 2017. “There’s nothing like having that face-to-face time with my customers to explain the vision behind each piece,” she says. “A picture online can only do so much. It really makes a difference to be able to offer customers a chance to touch the pieces and try them on. They can see the extra care that has been taken to not only make a beautiful piece, but also one that is comfortable to wear.”